Archive for the ‘writing wednesdays’ Tag

Watch for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

I’m finally interviewing that North Pole Alaska author I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Stay tuned!

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

baa10-bluetypewriter-whitepinkflowersToday’s interview is a blog tour.

Posted September 9, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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World Building 101   Leave a comment

Have you ever wondered how the speculative fiction greats created their realistic fantasy worlds? Me, too.

Yes, I’m a fantasy author, but I stand in awe of writers like JRR Tolkein, Katharine Kerry, Brandon Sanderson and Kate Elliott in their ability to make the magical seem real.

Some of them have been kind enough to blog about how they do it and I have learned a lot from that, which I now pass on to you.

The world we live in is magical. You may not realize that because it seems to familiar, but creating a fantasy world means building a world based upon reality and making sure that the reader knows the rules of that world. For readers to accept and continue to read a story, the write must make them believe in the world the characters inhabit. Characters must remain true to the rules of that world throughout the story for readers to accept what is happening to them.

  1. R. R. Tolkien depicted Middle Earth as a world so real that it has become a classic upon which so many others are based. Tolkien created Middle-earth, the lovable hobbits, the psychic elves and the irrepressible dwarves with incredible description and attention to details. The story contains all the elements of a traditional fantasy — a bumbling hero, an enchanted talisman, dark magic versus the good wizard, and an quest. It’s the gold standard in fantasy fiction.

How to attain something similar in your own writing? It’s not magic. I know I don’t have a wand. I did, however, study about how the greats created worlds their readers readily accepted.

The setting must be believable.

  • Characters should dress appropriately for the period and culture.
  • Weapons must be appropriate to the world.
  • If magic is involved, the writer should define the rules of magic and stick with them throughout their tale.

That looks like a perfect table of contents for a series, so see you next week.

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

This week’s interview is with Jane Davis.

Agony of Criticism   Leave a comment

There are writers and there are authors. Unlike some in the publishing field, I am not convinced that all that separates a writer from becoming an author is publishing a book. I think some unpublished writers are authors in progress while some published writers will never be authors.

It’s a painful truth, but one does not simply sit down and write a good novel. There’s research, there’s writing, there’s rewriting and editing … and more than anything else, there is critique.

How you accept critique is part of what separates writers and authors.

I’ve been scribbling stories since I was 12. I had some critique on my fiction in high school from my teachers, but for most of the decades between then and publishing my first novel I was writing fiction for my own amazement. Then I decided I really wanted to advance a book to publication and I started to submit it to friends to read.

I guess my friends love me. They all said pretty glowing things about the manuscript that would become the seedbed for Daermad Cycle. Somehow I knew that wasn’t completely honest. I went one step further and submitted it to the writers site Authonomy. Mostly I got good reviews and that felt a little bit more honest because these people didn’t know me. Some of the reviewers gave minor critique — moves a bit slowly, takes a long time to get to the point, it’s awfully long — but I wasn’t really sure what to do with that critique.

Then it happened. Somehow I attracted the attention of a notorious misanthrope on the site and he (or that iteration was a she, I think) decided to critique my book.

If you’ve never been run over by a Mac truck, I don’t recommend it.

I knew this was a mean, mean person, but her words bit deep. She (or he) really hated my book. Worse, though a truly miserable human being, this person was also a great writer.

There are three ways to handle that sort of critique:

  • throw the project in the trash bin where the critic suggested … thereby proving that you’re a writer and not an author in progress;
  • ignore the critique and keep the project as it is … also suggesting that you may not be an author in progress;
  • learn from the critique what is worth learning.

The author in progress does the third thing. After I got done being mad and sad in cycles, I resolved to come back to the critique in a while (that turned out to be three months) and mine it for what was worthwhile. Because this person had a history of being deleted from the site, I printed out the critique and put it away for later consumption. In the meantime, more nicer reviews came in that sort of agreed (in a nice way) with the mean review. I recognized that this mean critic had given me solid advice in a truly despicable manner and her critique was really not substantially different from the more soft-soap critique of the nicer reviews. He was brutally honest and that was exactly what I needed.

I went back to the book and applied the critique in a reasonable manner. I broke the manuscript into smaller more manageable portions (thereby creating a series, which is almost never a bad thing in epic fantasy). I was honest about how slow it was and I resolved to change that. I included death and mayhem much earlier than I was comfortable with. I excised the info dumps and limited the beautifully detailed descriptions I like. I added more complex characters, including some actual bad guys. And I got a better book, which got better reviews, but I also gained the confidence to pick a date to publish. You see, buried in that really mean review, was a off-hand statement that I had to mull for a long while and when I came back to it after the rewrite of the book that would become The Willow Branch, Book 1 of the Daermad Cycle, I realized that it was a very subtle compliment. Nasty guy actually thought there was a kernal of something in the book worth saving.

But if I’d done what I thought he was advising — burn the manuscript, eat dirt and die — I never would have come to that realization and either one of two things would have happened. Either The Willow Branch never would have been published or … I shudder to think this — the book entitled that would have been a mediocre book that should not have been published.

One of the major things separating writers from authors in progress is how they handle critique. All critique is useful to those who are willing to use it.

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   Leave a comment

This week’s interview is with K.A. Angliss, author of a dystopian sci-fi thriller

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   1 comment

baa10-bluetypewriter-whitepinkflowersThis week’s interview is a special treat for me. Khalid Muhammad, author of Agency Rules – Never An Easy Day at the Office, will be joining me. Khalid lives in Pakistan, but was raised in the United States. His book gives some wonderful insight into what goes on behind the media manipulations.

Interview with Thomas Duder   5 comments

Today’s interview is with Thomas Duder,‭ ‬author of The Generalist Series.
‭‬Tell us something about yourself,‭ ‬Thomas.‭ 

Mister Thomas Duder (1)Hello‭! ‬I am indeed,‭ ‬Thomas Duder,‭ ‬Author of the Things,‭ ‬and I’m a‭ ‬struggling writer.

Not struggling with the writing,‭ ‬hell no‭ ‬-‭ ‬I’m a freakin‭’ ‬genius and a wordsmith.‭ ‬No,‭ ‬I’m struggling with the rest of the industry,‭ ‬especially marketing.‭ ‬I just suck wholesale,‭ ‬especially considering how good my stuff is it really sucks that I have to work so hard just to get the free offering read.

The saddest part is how many people are going to be all,‭ “‬Derp I was there before he got big man‭” ‬and they’re the same fools who waited,‭ ‬like,‭ ‬months after I really REALLY needed them to help me out.

Seriously‭! ‬I can’t get social media to work for crap.‭ >‬:‭(

I have had similar thoughts!

Outside of that I live alone,‭ ‬I work hard,‭ ‬and I have friends online and offline.‭ ‬The path of a writer is a lonely one,‭ ‬and the path of a warrior is a sad one.

So I’ve got that going on‭ ‬for me.

‭‬Describe your writing journey.‭ ‬How did you get started‭? ‬What caused you to move in the direction of The Generalist‭?

I’ve written quite a bit before I decided to be published,‭ ‬and it was amidst a fit of blogging that I just put it out there.

A quick write-up later,‭ ‬I posted the‭ “‬Battle at Brownstone,‭” ‬a segment that is only now coming up in The Generalist saga,‭ ‬pitting the characters of Frank and Dash versus Karsiel the Revenant,‭ ‬Angel of the Warning Shot.

Back in this time,‭ ‬I checked it out with the few fans I had and they just dug it,‭ ‬a lot.‭ ‬I went ahead with my write-up of The Generalist in general‭ (‬like I do with such things‭)‬,‭ ‬and just ran with it.‭ ‬Frank Todd himself is a character from a small short story series‭ (‬like only four or so‭) ‬where‭ ‬he was basically just a guy with two first names for his whole name who went through scenes I had gone through in life:‭ ‬scaring off a stalker with the truth,‭ ‬a dinner with God,‭ ‬that kinda thing.

At the time,‭ ‬Dash was actually a rival of his in artifact hunting,‭ ‬and The Shop didn’t even exist‭ ‬-‭ ‬the entirety of it was how they were working for the Vatican’s Department XIII in order to combat monstrosities and performing exorcisms,‭ ‬that kinda thing.

Then I started writing it,‭ ‬and The Shop wrote itself.‭ ‬Suddenly everything clicked and reorganized to the new form‭ ‬-‭ ‬The Shop standing as an apex predator not only for Neo-Los Angeles but the world in general,‭ ‬all secret societies and groups fearing and respecting them.

Now the thing is still based on my original notes,‭ ‬but it’s become so much greater in the doing‭! ‬I’m having a blast exploring concepts I never originally thought for the series,‭ ‬and watching Frank and Dash‭ (‬and company,‭ ‬their various allies and loves and such‭) ‬just go through these high-powered misadventures.

And this ain’t even the half of it,‭ ‬we’re still in the beginning.‭ ‬I’ve got plaaaans,‭ ‬man,‭ ‬so many plans for these boys.‭ ‬They’re gonna get put through the wringer,‭ ‬like all my creations.

The question is whether they’re gonna be strong enough to survive it,‭ ‬y’know‭?


What’s your favorite genre to read,‭ ‬and if it is different from what you write,‭ ‬why‭?

I enjoy general fiction,‭ ‬especially high dark fantasy and good ol‭’ ‬sci-fi.‭ ‬Action and comedy anything is pretty good to me.

It’s not inexactly different than how I write‭ ‬-‭ ‬I’ve been told I have a very unique voice,‭ ‬a very comic-esque and visual style of writing,‭ ‬and I’m happy for it.‭ ‬I believe there’s still room for me to grow,‭ ‬though,‭ ‬and I’m not gonna stop at this level alone…but it’s nice I don‭’‬t have to do what so many other writers do and‭ “‬seek my voice.‭”

‬I have‭ ‬my voice.‭ ‬Now I just gotta keep on,‭ ‬yo.

The Generalist


What is The Generalist about‭? ‬What is the main point of conflict in it‭?

The Generalist is set in the heart of Neo-Los Angeles,‭ ‬2017,‭ ‬five years after the Havoc of‭ ‬2012.‭ ‬During this time a major global upheaval resulted in a severe spike of growth in various forms of energy‭ (‬don‭’‬t argue with me what constitutes‭ ‬“energy‭”‬ – this is fiction‭!)‬,‭ ‬as well as supernatural-based phenomena.

During this time every god and goddess ever worshipped suddenly rises up and declares themselves the Truth‭; ‬the Unseelie and Seelie Sidhe‭ (‬the Fae‭) ‬are causing a ruckus everywhere‭; ‬secret societies suddenly and very publicly jockey for higher positions of power‭; ‬Artifacts of eldritch design are suddenly up for grabs‭; ‬the Vatican unleashes hordes of priest-warriors onto the world‭; ‬the American government is suddenly on the scene with ancient contracts to Eldritch entities and‭ (‬above all‭) ‬people are,‭ ‬apparently at random,‭ ‬transmogrifying into horrifying monstrosities who immediately go into a maddened,‭ ‬cannibalistic riot.

Amidst all this chaos lays The Shop,‭ ‬a supernatural services and paranormal goods store.‭ ‬A central power in Neo-Los Angeles,‭ ‬even the most eldritch of entities pay heed to the Kings of the Angels,‭ ‬the Sultans of Swing.‭ ‬Frank‭ ‬“The Generalist‭”‬ Todd and Daniel‭ ‬“Dash‭”‬ Hopkins,‭ ‬a human who has mastered the‭ ‬“four basic food groups‭”‬ of energy‭ (‬Psionics,‭ ‬Magic,‭ ‬Ki Energy,‭ ‬and Spiritual Faith,‭ ‬as well as others‭) ‬alongside the‭ ‬“UnGrimm Troll,‭”‬ the two beings who are known as The Shopkeepers for obvious reasons.

Together they represent the‭ ‬#1‭ ‬killers,‭ ‬thugs,‭ ‬bouncers,‭ ‬kneecappers,‭ ‬supernatural bartering and even black marketeers of Neo-Los Angeles.‭ ‬They‭’‬re also the government-recognized Champions of the world,‭ ‬stepping up whenever a global threat occurs or an interdimensional invasion.

Altogether it‭’‬s a lot of misadventure and a lot of fun‭!


Describe your main character.

Characters,‭ ‬characterrrrrrs.‭ ‬Frank is curmudgeonly,‭ ‬grumpy,‭ ‬hateful and extremely violent and aggressive.‭ ‬Dash is‭ ‬chipper,‭ ‬cheerful,‭ ‬as much an optimist as Frank is a cynic,‭ ‬hateful,‭ ‬extremely violent,‭ ‬and‭ ‬aggressive.

They work well together,‭ ‬which gives rise to their‭ ‬“Combined Techniques,‭”‬ attacks and abilities that rely on their exact synchronization on every level.‭ ‬This is what gives rise to the true terror that is The Shop:‭ ‬individually,‭ ‬they‭’‬re each a monster in their own right.‭ ‬Together they‭’‬re an act of God,‭ ‬a freakin‭’‬ explosion of violence and destruction,‭ ‬and woebetide any who‭ ‬get in their way.


You’re coming out with a new book soon.‭ ‬Describe it.

Oh,‭ ‬several‭! ‬Sometime in the next couple of weeks I‭’‬m about to publish The Omnibus Generalis Volume‭ ‬1‭ ‬– a‭ ‬collection of the first four books in the series with three new short stories‭ (‬all canon from The Generalist universe‭) ‬and a side novella in the same vein.

There‭’‬s also Crimson Fate,‭ ‬the prequel novel that kicks off a quartet of vampire action erotica books that I‭’‬m currently co-writing with the inestimable,‭ ‬unstoppable Ella Dominguez‭~! ‬I‭’‬m quite proud of it thus far,‭ ‬and look forward to working further on the books‭ ‬– this‭ ‬world is just so brutal,‭ ‬so violent‭!

‬I‭’‬ll also have the first volume comin‭’‬ out in December or so,‭ ‬a collection of short stories from a series called‭ ‬“Killer‭ ‬13,‭”‬ which follows a madman as he massacres his way through a desert wasteland filled‭ ‬with demonic,‭ ‬fiendish creatures and where everything‭ (‬even the sky itself‭!) ‬is trying to devour everything else.‭ ‬It‭’‬s trippy,‭ ‬weird,‭ ‬violent and brutal as all get-out‭!

I‭’‬m also one freakin‭’‬ chapter away from being done with The Generalist‭ ‬– Taboo‭ ‬4:‭ ‬Angle of the Angels.‭ ‬Just gotta deal with the rest of the universe‭…


Anything else you want to say or make up or‭ ‬…

I look forward to publishing even more come‭ ‬2015,‭ ‬and I also look forward to seeing how‭ ‬a good friend of mine,‭ ‬Francesca Silvers,‭ ‬deals with The Generalist series as an erotica.

I do hope you guys keep reading my books‭! ‬I have so much more material to put out there,‭ ‬and‭ ‬2015‭’‬s gonna rock HARD‭!



The Pen‭ ‬Is My Sword‭ ‬–‭
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‬Get YOUR free copy of Taboo‭ ‬0‭ ‬here‭!

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Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   1 comment

This week’s interview is with Thomas Duder, author of the Generalist series.

Stay Tuned for Writing Wednesday   1 comment

This week’s interview will be CJ Davis.

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